Strange ride on the wind!

What compels me sometimes? Any normal person would be home in bed but I had managed to rise early and made it to Loxahatchee by 6am. It was pitch dark and very windy and I was totally alone.
Apparently I had arrived here at the same time as a winter cold front and the wind was very blustery. Early morning is usually a calm  time and the strong wind seemed out of place.
  I untied the canoe and set it at the waters edge,then loaded up my few supplies (a cooler of snacks and a pack with a raincoat ,first aid kit etc. two paddles and a life vest plus some water).
 As I pushed off from shore the first light was creeping over the horizon.
 I should have known I was in for it when I stopped to take a picture and the wind whipped the canoe around. i struggled to get further along the narrow canal hoping I might find some shelter in the high grass. The going was tough and at times I was only holding my own against the wind but slowly I worked my way along. Occasionally the breeze would ease up and I'd make some progress but any time I stopped paddling I would lose ground.
  I left the main canoe trail and headed across open marsh. A large odd looking egret ( heron? I get my giant wading birds confused) stood out in the open, eye balling me. I stopped paddling and let the wind carry the canoe up against some grass. I sat there for awhile, had a smoke and just shared some time with the bird.   As I moved on I thought he would fly away like all the other birds but he sat there calmly as i slid by.
  MAN!!!!!  what a pain in the ass! The wind was fierce. At times I would have to keep the canoe at a strange angle to make any progress. It felt as if I was moving through the water at a constant diagonal.
 I made it across the marsh and continued up the main trail, content with the slow progress I was making. I came across my second alligator of the morning. ( The first had exploded in the water 20 yards in front of me while it was still dark) She was a little momma about 5 feet long, I had seen her before and hoped she remembered me. I wanted to snap a few photos but couldn't figure out how to paddle and work the camera at the same time. I must have look like a fool tryin though and at the last second I gave up on the pic  and paddled hard to avoid running up on top of her. Yikes!  Ok ... I paddled  a few yards past her and thought I'd come around and try for some better snap shots. The wind sent me shooting past her before I could reach for my camera. Crap!
I turned around again struggled  against the head wind past the alligator, tryin to click photos,  and kept on going. 
 Eventually I came to the rickety wooden platform thats just shy of the half way point. It's a good place to take a brake and stretch your legs To my surprise someone had left a brand knew fishing rod and reel there and I was like Allright! It's mine! Any place else and I would have left it but I had worked so hard to get out here, they wern't coming back and it felt like a classic case of finders keepers. I gave it to my son.
   After a quick breakfast of  Frosted Flakes I moved on.  The one thing that had kept me going was knowing that when the trail turned south and then again back east the wind would be behind me. Sure enough as soon as i headed south the going got much easier. I paddled along slowly letting the breeze help. As I eventually started moving predominately east the wind was directly behind me and the canoe started really moving along.
  I'm into following my instincts and at that point in time my instincts said STAND UP!, so I did.
It was like an epiphany. Like floating on air. The strong wind blowing, my body acting like a sail. I levitated through the everglades like some ghostly spirit. Effortlessly  I glided along. From 200 yards away a hawk screeched and fluttered out of stand of trees.  Blown by the wind it flew in a long arc across the marsh then swooped past only two feet from me. It seemed to be saying " I see what your doing".
 It was like  magic. I rode like that for two miles. 
 As I approached the end of the trail I thought to myself what a great time to show off. How cool would it look to just come sliding out of the glades as if by magic. I pictured throngs of fisherman and tourist looking  on in amazement. I gave it an extra paddle to gain some speed put on my best nonchalant look and slid out into the open boat landing area. NO ONE WAS THERE. so much for vanity. As the wind whipped the canoe around I lost my balance and sat down hard on the seat. I had to struggle to turn the canoe around.  It was then that a family of 5 with small kids came walking by.